Another evening with the Tractor Boys
Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Wednesday, 21st March 2012
Burnley travel to Portman Road tonight to face Ipswich Town and it comes as no surprise to see this game scheduled for a midweek evening.
The journey between Ipswich and Burnley is not the easiest and certainly not the shortest, but since their relegation nine years ago this will be the seventh time this fixture, either at home or away, has been played at night.
|Danny Ings could make way for Jay Rod|
One thing for certain tonight is that if recent history repeats itself we won't be coming home with a win. There again if it is very recent history then a draw is the most likely outcome.
Our only ever win at Portman Road came courtesy of a Frank Casper goal and a 1-0 win in January 1970. On our other 16 visits we've drawn seven times and lost the other nine. However, the last four games there have ended in draws with the last defeat six years ago with a Darren Deadman induced 2-1 win for the home side.
We go into the game on our worst run of form, in terms of results, all season. Sunday's draw extended the run without a win to five games and just one win in the last seven games has seen us drop from just outside the play offs to a place in the bottom half of the table.
Sunday's draw saw us retain 14th place but there was a further drop last night with Watford's win at Bristol City. A win tonight though will see us go back above Watford and both Leicester and Derby and back into the top half although Ipswich will be looking to get the points to go above us.
There's still talk of the play offs within Turf Moor. This week goalkeeper Lee Grant said: "I think we had a good chance this year and we still have a good chance, but for that to happen we really have to look at the remaining fixtures and put a special run together.
"That's not beyond the realms of possibility because it's happened to a couple of teams this year and we have been on tremendous runs ourselves. It's certainly possible, but it's more of a long shot than it was six or eight weeks ago.
"You look at Reading who had eight or nine wins out of ten or whatever it might be, a fantastic run. At the time they weren't a team in the division you would have highlighted as one of the teams who were going to go and do that, so it's certainly possible. It's taken them to within touching distance of an automatic spot so there is certainly an outside chance for us."
Grant will be in goal for the Clarets with Eddie Howe hopefully having the option to make one significant change to the team with the return of Jay Rodriguez who sat out the draw at Cardiff with the injury that forced him off in the home game against Crystal Palace.
Jay is expected to play and that is a massive bonus. Apart from Charlie Austin's goal against Barnsley, Jay is the only Burnley player to score a goal since Kieran Trippier's long range effort at Middlesbrough almost ten weeks ago.
The only question remains which player drops out for Jay and I would suspect Howe has a fairly even choice of three in Junior Stanislas, Danny Ings and Martin Paterson. None of the three impressed on Sunday and it is difficult to decide which one of them is the most likely.
Both Stanislas and Paterson have proved to be first choice this season when available and so, given that, it is probably Ings who is the most likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.
If so, we could line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas, Martin Paterson, Jay Rodriguez. Subs from: Brian Jensen, Ben Mee, Marvin Bartley, Josh McQuoid, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin.
Our Opponents - Ipswich Town
Ipswich are very likely to be a different proposition than they were at the Turf in early December. They arrived on the back of four straight defeats and with manager Paul Jewell under enormous pressure.
They'd been scoring goals but conceding them for fun. The first of those defeats was a 4-1 hammering at Millwall and they'd followed that up with 3-2 defeats against Doncaster (home), Nottingham Forest (away) and Reading (home).
We knew they were a team capable of conceding goals; in August they'd conceded 12 in two games against Southampton and Peterborough with six of Peterborough's seven coming in 26 minutes.
So, it was no surprise to see us bag four, but Ipswich were so bad that night they were fortunate to get off with a 4-0 defeat and, given the nature of the job, Jewell was extremely fortunate to still have his.
They lost the next game 2-1 at home to Watford and were 2-0 down at Barnsley in the next game before sensationally turning things round and winning it 5-3. They'd slumped to just above the drop zone but their form since has seen them climb to within one point of us in mid-table.
Their very recent form is excellent. They have won six of their last nine games with the only defeat coming at Brighton back in February. Even the two draws have been good ones, at Southampton and Hull.
Only Southampton and Reading have secured more points during that time so we really are up against one of the divisions form teams.
Jewell has no worries over team selection; his only concern coming with Jason Scotland. Should the former Swansea and Wigan striker start two more games it will trigger a clause in his contract giving him a further year extension.
They are expected to name the team that beat Peterborough on Saturday which was: Alex McCarthy, Carlos Edwards, Tommy Smith, Damien Delaney, Aaron Cresswell, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Andy Drury, Grant Leadbitter, Lee Martin, Daryl Murphy, Michael Chopra. Subs: Arran Lee-Barrett, Ibrahima Sonko, Lee Bowyer, Ryan Stevenson, Jason Scotland.
Last Time We Were There
It seems an age since we were last at Ipswich and we do have to go back some 19 months to the first away game of last season, our first away game following relegation from the Premier League.
Burnley, then under the management of Brian Laws, had beaten Nottingham Forest to kick off the season and Roy Keane's Ipswich had won at Middlesbrough.
|Late equaliser from Clarke Carlisle|
Speculation ahead of kick off was that Tyrone Mears, out of the side for the first time as a Claret, had been sold, but the truth was a long way wide of the remark with the injured Mears (a shin problem) taking a seat on the bench.
David Edgar came in at right back and Clarke Carlisle replaced the injured Michael Duff in the centre of defence. Both Edgar and Carlisle were to play significant roles. One other change saw Jack Cork, signed just in time, going on the bench.
We were the better side in the first half with Ross Wallace prominent. He set up our best chance of the half for Wade Elliott who saw his shot bounce to safety off goalkeeper Marton Fulop's head.
Ipswich improved slightly in the second half and it was much more even, but things took a turn for the worse when Edgar found himself getting a second yellow card from referee Grant Hegley and we were down to ten men.
Disaster struck for the ten men late in the game when David Norris back healed a knock down into the net and we were behind, but deep into stoppage time came Carlisle's first goal in 17 months and his last league goal for Burnley when he headed in a corner.
The late goal syndrome at Ipswich had struck again, and this time in our favour.
The teams were;
Ipswich: Marton Fulop, Jaime Peters, Gareth McAuley, Tommy Smith, Shane O'Connor, Luke Hyam, Grant Leadbitter (Colin Healy 45), David Norris, Andros Townsend (Ronan Murray 72), Tamas Priskin, Jonathan Stead. Subs not used: Daryl Murphy, Tom Eastman, Reggie Lambe, Jack Ainsley, Conor Hourihane.
Burnley: Brian Jensen, David Edgar, Clarke Carlisle, Andre Bikey, Danny Fox, Graham Alexander, Wade Elliott, Dean Marney, Martin Paterson (Chris Eagles 67), Chris Iwelumo (Steven Thompson 74), Ross Wallace. Subs not used: Lee Grant, Leon Cort, Jack Cork, Kevin McDonald, Jay Rodriguez.
Previous Games against Ipswich Town
|Last 20 Years|
|2002/03||Division 1||a||2-2||22,736||Gnohere, Papadopoulos|
|h||4-2||11,343||Little, May, Chaplow, Blake|
|2005/06||Championship||h||3-0||10,496||J O'Connor, G O'Connor, McCann|
|2011/12||Championship||h||4-0||12,499||Vokes, McCann(2), Rodriguez|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Ipswich Town